The Sword is not a gore filled comic at all. The violence is kept sharp and visceral though which makes it all the more shocking when it comes. Absolutely, hands down, without any hesitation the Sword by the Luna Brothers was the single most amazing thing I read last year by a wide margin.
Although this is a comic book, this is not a superhero story. Some characters have powers, some can fly and some can lift mountains, but this is not what this book is about. This about people, their lives, how they have chosen to live them and how there actions affect the world around them. I am intentionally keeping the details of the plot and characters to a bare minimum here as it is better discovered as told by the Luna Brothers without outside influence. My words simply won’t do it the justice it deserves, but here’s a taste anyway.
In a nut shell, a paralysed, wheel chair bound young women watches helplessly as a seemingly random group of people enter her house one night and slaughter her entire family. No real explanation given and no clues to the attacker’s identity. Left for dead in the aftermath she discovers a sword under her now ruined home. Upon touching the sword, her body is healed and so she sets out for answers and unrelenting vengeance. A journey of mammoth proportions is undertaken and a story unfolds magnificently.
It may sounds kinda basic on the face of it, however it is anything but. This a tale of immense loss, life, death, rebirth and discovery. It’s about over coming anything you may come up against no matter how over whelming the struggle may be. It’s about believing, especially when you have nothing, no family, no friends, no knowledge, that you can achieve whatever you want if the drive within you is great enough.
Characters are realised and explored beautifully and the struggle becomes your own as you relate to the story’s heroine. Her plight, although extreme and fantastic, is relateable in the context of the tale.
The art is simple, yet perfect. You feel movement, emotion and the epicness of the journey without even realising it. It sucks you in big time. Each moment, large and small is rendered with a precise cinematic flare which draws you further into the character’s world.
I’ve read all the Luna Brothers previous work now and they are true masters of portraying real people thrust into dealing with unbelievable situations. They effortlessly bring human elements to a story with plot and art that is so effective, you are left effected.
Try the issue I’ve linked below and you’ll get an idea of the tone and pitch of the story. This is an adult book though, make no bones about it, but not because of bloody deaths, strong language or huge battles. This is adult because the themes of the journey are strong and yet tender. They can really only be fully appreciated once you’ve experienced a struggle, loss and lived some life on your own.
I recommend you try and pick up the gorgeous hardbacks, available from book stores, comic shops and Amazon before there are out of print. You won’t regret it in the slightest.
I expect this to certainly get picked up for a movie adaptation sooner rather than later, so get in now whilst no ones looking.
SWORD DANCE AND SHADOWGRAPH.
Japanese film and stage actor Taichi Saotome battles some fierce shadows in this incredible live performance of “Dragon and Peony.”
Girls by Joshua Luna.
If you’ve never read anything by the Luna Brothers, please fix that asap and pick up a trade paperback or something. Amazing body of work seriously.
My advice would be to start with The Sword, then onto Girls then maybe Ultra. All are fantastic and destined for screen adaptations I’m sure.